Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

[Review] Ananda, Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin 16

Ananda Indian restaurant in Dundrum has been keeping a little secret to itself. From Thursday to Sunday lunchtime (12.30 - 15.00) , it is possible to enjoy a tapas lunch (2 courses plus tea/cofee) for the princely sum of €16.00. 

Yes - that is right. You can enjoy a delicious lunch, from an excellent kitchen supervised by executive chef Sunil Ghai with a menu designed by Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar. Given that I've eaten Sunday lunch at Atul's previous restaurant, Tamarind in London, where a Sunday lunch costs in the region of £30, the deal at Ananda is truly great (and the food is better than Tamarind!).

Ananda is a lovely restaurant, decorated in dark colours with splashes of pink and other bright colours. Amazing flower-like lanterns are suspended from the ceiling. At night-time, the atmosphere is intimate and cosy.

The stylish interior
You start your lunch with a choice of vegetarian or non-vegetarian tapas. Having enjoyed lunch at Ananda several times, I can say that it doesn't matter which platter you choose, as both are delicious. On my recent visit however, I went for the non-vegetarian tapas (shown below). From left to right, I enjoyed 
  • Malai kebab (chicken in a gently spiced marinade)
  • Tempura fried prawn - deliciously plump and firm
  • Fish tikka - Tilapia fish in a mustard marinade, cooked in the tandoor
  • Seekh kebab - juicy, spicy minced lamb, bursting with flavour
The meat-based tapas platter
The selection for main course is short and sweet with approximately 4-5 curries and biryanis on offer. From my experience, the vegetarian curries are the best (although the Goan prawn curry and chicken  tikka masala are well tasty). I selected the Paneer Lababdar as my main course, which consisted of chunks of silky smooth paneer cheese in a smooth, tomato and onion masala finished with cream. All curries come served with rice, but if you fancy adding a naan, a basic naan or garlic, onion & coriander will cost you a measly 1.50 extra.

Paneer curry
The paneer curry was deliciously tangy with a hint of browned onions and tempered gently by the cream. The garlic, onion and coriander naan was a superb specimen of the species, with plenty of flavour and a fabulous buttery finish.

Ananda is one of the best Indian restaurants in Dublin. No questions about that. Perhaps it's location in Dundrum Town Centre contributes to the fact that it seems to be a bit of a hidden gem on the Dublin dining scene, despite being around for several years now. Either way, I don't care. The quietness means that I never have an issue getting a table for Sunday lunch!

Ananda, Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin 14. 
Tel: +3535 (0)1 296 0099 
Twitter: @AnandaDundrum
Ananda on Urbanspoon

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